The future of gaming is likely to be revolutionized by the introduction the Google Stadia cloud gaming platform, however the lack of an available database of Google Stadia games that will be available on the platform has concerned many among the gaming industry. The success of the platform is entirely reliant upon the collection of games that it can amass, and thus far, we’ve heard of very few.
It is known that both Ubisoft and id Software have pledged their allegiance to create a number of Google Stadia games and that the game development platform, Unity, will be releasing an update which will allow small scale developers to create their own cloud gaming games, but otherwise, public support from other gaming developers has been somewhat limited. As such, the fact that Activision Blizzard has now shown its support for the Google Stadia cloud gaming platform is a big boost for the project.
Activision Blizzard, who describe themselves as being “the world’s most successful standalone interactive entertainment company”, are the creators of a “roster of legendary titles” which include Overwatch, Call of Duty and Hearthstone, as well as the Candy Crush Saga for mobile and the newest releases of the much-adored classics, Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon. As a result, the support for the Google Stadia gaming platform of Activision Blizzard is a huge step towards growing confidence for the platform.
Google Stadia Games Are Currently In Short Supply—But Activision Could Change That
In their recent earnings call, the CEO for Activision Blizzard, Robert Kotick, affirmed concerns that when it comes to cloud gaming, “none of these platforms can succeed without great content. Truthfully, they really don’t know how to make it. So when you think about what will be required, it will be support from us [and other game publishers] to allow them to actually build an audience.” As such, despite plans being made for a game development branch of Google Stadia—aptly named Stadia games—it will be the support from existing game developers that will invariably make or break cloud gaming platforms.
According to Kotick:
“When these big, well-funded companies are building out platforms where they have limited amounts of content to actually serve up to customers, I’d say there’s a great opportunity for a company like ours.“
Competitors to the Google Stadia cloud gaming platform include Microsoft’s recently announced xCloud platform and Sony’s already published Playstation Now platform. In order to be a success, Google Stadia will need to be able to compete with both of these in order to win the support of the gaming community. Its unique features, including crowd play and state share, are sure to give it a leg up initially. However, in the battle of Google Stadia vs xCloud vs PS Now, it isn’t as simple as that.
When it comes to experience in the cloud gaming sector, Sony clearly has the upper hand over both Google and Microsoft. The Playstation Now was released in January 2015 and has clearly had much more time to amass a following. However, it was only in more recent times that it began seriously releasing PS4 blockbuster games. Prior to this point, most of the game database for the PS Now was only filled with the classic Playstation 2 and 3 games, meaning that it lost a lot of its potential customers and was, some would argue, written off as being less of a serious contender to the traditional consoles.
By contrast, both Google Stadia and xCloud are boasting of their abilities to run high quality, AAA games in ultra high definition. In the case of Google Stadia games, these will be playable on any internet enabled device which has Google Chrome installed. As such, this means that the release of new cloud gaming platforms could mean big things for the mobile gaming industry which is, presently, lacking.
In the case of Microsoft, who own their own studios already, it isn’t so unbelievable that they will be able to release their own big title games for their xCloud cloud gaming platform. Therefore, Stadia needs all the support that they can get when it comes to getting a database of quality games released.
How Activision Blizzard’s Support Will Help Google Stadia
Activision Blizzard is the owner of a massive gaming network and it sees nearly 350 million players enjoying its big-title games on a monthly basis—that’s a staggering 4,200 million gamers per year. Evidently, if Activision Blizzard does come through on its support of Google Stadia, there will be a huge market of gamers available for Google Stadia games to tap into.
As Kotick put it, the constant evolution of distribution models means that cloud gaming is the next big step for the gaming industry and, as such, traditional consoles—even the next generation varieties—may well be rendered as little more than nostalgia pieces. As such, this puts the future of Activision gaming in a very positive position.
“When you own 30 years of IP like we do, there’s probably never been a better time to be in the games business. When these big, well-funded companies are building out platforms where they have limited amounts of content to actually serve up to customers, I’d say there’s a great opportunity for a company like ours.”
With this new development, we believe it is safe to say that the future for cloud gaming and Google Stadia specifically is bright. With the public support of three game development companies now, there is no company better suited to creating a cloud gaming platform than the multi-national superpower that is Google. And, with the upcoming I/O Conference on Tuesday where more information is said to be released, things can only get better for Stadia’s supporters.